The Republican leadership in the Florida Senate rallied behind former Senate President Tom Lee on Thursday as he seeks to return to Tallahassee. Lee faces Rep. Rachel Burgin, R-Tampa, in the Republican primary on Aug. 14 for the seat currently held by Sen. Ronda Storms, R-Brandon, who is running for Hillsborough County property appraiser.
In his battle against former Rep. Aaron Bean for the Republican nomination for a seat in the Florida Senate representing parts of the First Coast, Rep. Mike Weinstein, R-Jacksonville, garnered a major endorsement on Wednesday, as well, when the Jacksonville Fraternal Order of Police announced it was backing him.
Tom Slade, the former chairman of the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF), announced on Wednesday that he is backing former Rep. Aaron Bean over Rep. Mike Weinstein, R-Jacksonville, in the Aug. 14 Republican primary for the open Florida Senate seat that represents all of Nassau and parts of Duval County.
On Monday, the Florida Retail Federation (FRF) unveiled its endorsements for the Legislature, wading into some hotly contested races but also backing incumbents who look like locks to return to Tallahassee.
On Monday, the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the Unified Sportsmen of Florida waded into two of the more competitive Republican legislative primaries in Florida when the groups backed House Speaker Pro Tempore John Legg, R-Port Richey, and former Rep. Aaron Bean for Senate seats.
On Monday, former Gov. Jeb Bush announced that he was backing Rep. Janet Adkins, R-Fernandina Beach, in her bid for a third term in the Florida House of Representatives.
Adkins, who currently represents all of Baker, Nassau and Union counties and parts of Bradford, Clay and Duval counties, has focused on education issues during her time in the House, rising to serve as vice chairwoman of the Education Committee and the Pre-K-12 Appropriations Subcommittee. Bush noted Adkins’ work on education in his endorsement on Monday.
U.S. Rep. Connie Mack, the favorite to win the Republican nomination to challenge Democrat incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, announced his leadership teams for Lee and Collier counties on Monday morning.
Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, is slated to become president of the Florida Senate after November provided he wins another term and the Republicans keep control. The GOP is in solid shape to keep the Senate and Gaetz appears to be on track for staying in Tallahassee.
Gaetz raised more than $160,000 in the second quarter of 2012 and spent almost $272,000. Despite that heavy spending, Gaetz continues to have a healthy war chest. So far this campaign cycle, Gaetz has raised more than $632,000 and spent almost $354,000.
On Thursday, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin announced that she was backing U.S. Rep. Sandy Adams over U.S. Rep. John Mica in a Republican primary battle pitting two Central Florida incumbents against each other.
Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich hit the First Coast on Thursday to promote the candidacy of former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, the man who beat him for the Republican presidential nomination. But there was another Republican that Gingrich was supporting on Thursday -- U.S. Rep. Connie Mack, the favorite to emerge in the August primary to challenge Democrat incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson.
Speaking to Republicans in Jacksonville, the former congressional leader said that the Sunshine State would be in the political frontlines come November.